Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella believes that OpenAI should have consulted Microsoft before firing former CEO Sam Altman. He made this statement during an interview with Kara Swisher on her podcast, stating that it would have been the “very least” the board could have done given their investment in the company.
Microsoft has invested billions in OpenAI, and both companies use each other’s technology. For example, ChatGPT powers Microsoft’s Bing search engine, while OpenAI uses Microsoft’s Azure cloud servers. Despite this investment, Microsoft was not aware of Altman’s removal until OpenAI went public with the announcement.
Nadella believes that as a partner, OpenAI owes Microsoft to be consulted on big decisions. He emphasized that someone needs to think about why Sam chose Microsoft twice and how deep their partnership is with OpenAI.
Last Friday, OpenAI announced Altman’s firing as CEO without any prior notice or consultation with Microsoft. The board cited a lack of consistency in his communications with them but did not provide further details. This led to chaos and ended with the appointment of former Twitch chief Emmett Shear as interim CEO of OpenAI.
On Monday, Nadella announced that he had hired Altman and former OpenAI president Greg Brockman to head Microsoft’s new advanced AI research team. However, it seems that the drama isn’t over yet as nearly all of OpenAI’s staff are threatening to quit unless the board resigns and Altman returns as CEO. Nadella seems prepared for this possibility and stated that there will always be a place for all AI talent to come to Microsoft and move forward on their mission while being supportive of whoever remains at OpenAI or wherever they may go.